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Thomastik Dominants

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by FunkySpoo, Jun 8, 2004.

  1. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Hi all. I read the newbie Thomastik Dominants thread which sorta turned into a Spiro thread.

    I'm currently using the Innovation Rockabilly strings. I really like the tone and low tension.

    My teacher has me on Simandl and the Innovations are really a pain to bow.

    So the question is how do the Dominants bow?

    And would getting solos and tuning them to orchestra pitch work?

  2. McBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    solo strings tuned down do work as a low tension option. I don't know about dominants, but spirocores are no good for bowing in my opinion.
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Dominants are designed as an Orchestra string. They are pretty easy to start with the bow. Although, I would think solos tuned down to orch pitch would be pretty sloppy under the bow. I had dominant solos detuned on my Engelhardt for a while. They sounded good and I liked the feel, but they were pretty flabby.

    The closest thing I would compare them to as far as pizz tone is the Obligato.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Right on Chaz. When you need to modulate, to use more dynamic range with your bow, you want to feel the string there, and too flabby a string won't do it. It's an issue I'm starting to have with Obli's, although I have been happy for some years with them. Should I switch to Spiro mittel, Superflex or Jazzer ?

    Ricky, I am not sure that tuned down solo Dominant will do the job. Maybe you could try with a G and/or D before changing the whole set. Or switch to Oblis wich are pretty good all around string, and you'll really love the arco sound.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    Of those, the only ones I have ever tried to bow are spirocore. At my experience level, I'd call my success marginal.

    While contrary to the popular opinion of this board, IME, I have found many players who can bow spirocores very well. Although they are mostly pro and semi-pro orchestra players with nice old dark rich basses. If your bass leans towards brighter or your bowing is still in the development phases, I'd run from them screaming. There are certainly easier strings to bow.

    I have no experience in any form with superflexibles, and it's my impression that the jazzer is pirastros direct offering to compete with spirocore. They call it a pizz string. Maybe you can bow it, but seems like a gamble. On most basses, I'd guess the Obligato would sound better under the bow than any of the above, although I find even the obligato to be a little thin compared to a more traditional arco string.

    IME, the best sounding arco string is the Flexocor, and the pizz tone works for me just fine.

    If you have the $$$, try Velvet 180s. They receive very good reviews as a hybrid.
  6. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I've tried Velvet 180 new formula recently, they are OK, maybe comparable to Obligato, but way overpriced, I think.

    I got a set of Jazzer today for evaluation. Replacing Obligatos + dominant E, they sound very metallic to me, especialy the G and D, but I'll give them a month or so to settle in. IMHO, they are very bowable and comparable to Oblis re playability. I was expecting more tension from them... either I'm getting stronger of they're softer than Spiro mittel, but not as much as the weich set. We'll see.
  7. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Your impressions of the Jazzer sound much like my experience with them over the last couple of years - more bowable than one would expect and tension about between spirocore mittel and weich. They take a little time to mellow out, but they end up a little warmer sounding than the spiros, I think.

    I had the same feeling about the G and D being a little too bright, though, and now I use Pirastro Flat Chromesteel on those strings (the new ones, not Original Flat-Chrome). They seem a little less twangy than the Jazzers with very good bow response, but still have quite good sustain and blend very well with the Jazzer E and A.
  8. As I think I've posted before; I've had spirocores on every bass I've played at one time or another. I play about 93% orchestra and solo stuff, and I must say that spirocores can very definately be bowed on most any bass, including inexpensive plywoods. They may not be ideal on every instrument, but there's no way they should hinder your playing. If they do, I'd say there are probably underlying technique issues that should be worked out before your spend any more money or thought on strings...
  9. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Thank you gents. So the Dominants are easy to bow.

    What in your opinions are the easiest strings to bow?

    What about guts? Do they bow well?
  10. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I just threw some obligatos on my bass and they sound good pizz and arco.e
  11. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Thanks for your input, Michael. My bandmates dig alot the switch from Oblis to Jazzers, they say they hear me better, especially during solo in upper register. I'll keep the Flat Chromsteel in mind if I get fed up with the brightness.
  12. Salut Olivier,
    You may also want to consider the Original FlatChromes (or Original Flexocors) for the G & D, in order to get a fatter, warmer tone, in particular for the D.

    Bonne journée!
  13. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Salut François, merci pour tes bons conseils. Now that I've changed string type from synthetic gut to metal, it's a whole new can of worms. I'll stay with Jazzers for a while though, to see how they mellow down.

    Bonne journée à toi aussi !